Happy Friday and happy almost Halloween! A few months ago, a good friend requested a red velvet cake for his mid-October birthday. I happily agreed and began the typical research, seeking out the best recipe for this classic cake that I could find. But, October turned out to be a pretty busy month with Pitt games, out of town visitors, family weekends, and weddings of the fall variety. So, Nick's birthday came and went, much too quietly for anyone's taste. He didn't seem to mind, but I knew he really wanted that cake, and I was determined to let him have said cake before October was behind us. And then he went and got engaged to his longtime lady love. Two reasons to celebrate and just one cake. That's a lot of pressure, folks :)
Find a recipe is exactly what I did. Not just any recipe, but one that ran in The New York Times. That's right, the big guns. But, while the search was successful, a tragedy reminiscent of childhood took place. Every single flippin' recipe for red velvet cake involved heaping amounts of red food coloring. That couldn't be right... could it? Red food dye would mean that the color isn't natural, and the masses fawn over this cake's magical red properties (and frosting, but we'll get to that). Apparently, the color of red velvet cake isn't simply the natural consequence of the acidic vinegar and buttermilk with the cocoa. It's helped along with a literal ton of red food dye added to the batter! It was a serious blow to my soul discovering this culinary lie. Pretty similar to "The Easter bunny isn't real!" and "Santa Claus doesn't exist!" Oh, how I remember it like it was yesterday...